December 27th, 2012
05:31 PM ET
9 years ago

Hoyer compares GOP debt limit tactics to hostage taker threatening to shoot child

Washington (CNN) - Less than two weeks after one of the nation's deadliest school shootings, the No.2 Democrat in the U.S. House, Steny Hoyer, compared Republican tactics for dealing with the nation's debt limit to someone threatening to shoot a child hostage.

"It's somewhat like taking your child hostage and saying to somebody else, 'I'm going to shoot my child if you don't do what I want done.' You don't want to shoot your child. There's no Republican leader that wants to default on our debt, that I've talked to," Hoyer said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

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Hoyer's comments came in response to a question about the Treasury Department's notice that the nation was approaching its debt limit. He criticized Republicans for previous resistance to raising the debt ceiling and used the gun analogy to argue that the issue should not be part of the negotiations involving the fiscal cliff.

In a session on the House floor lasting less than 10 minutes – and at which just a handful of members were present - Hoyer called on GOP leaders to bring the House back into session to craft a compromise to avert the fiscal cliff.

Shortly after Hoyer spoke to reporters, House Republican leaders held a conference call with their members and told them the House would reconvene on Sunday night - just a day before the year-end deadline.

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (229 Responses)
  1. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    If we do hit the fiscal cliff, I just hope more republicans than democrats pay the price for our government's deliberate reluctance to reach a deal. After all, its these ignorant complacent brainwashed right wing voters who keep putting these deceitful self righteous right wing sociopath politicians back in office. We should force all red states to do hard labor so that everyone that's democratic in blue state gets a mule and ten acres.

    December 28, 2012 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  2. Sheila

    well, steny hoyer is right – the gop has taken this country hostage since 08 – at least he's one of the few that's telling it like it is .

    December 28, 2012 09:49 am at 9:49 am |
  3. nothing new here

    This is nothing more than stupid politicians playing their political games.
    They forget about the millions of people that will pay a huge price for this mess.

    December 28, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  4. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    Its time republicans get over the "Black-President" syndrome and realize that in their efforts to undermine the President's image and legacy, they're hurting the country as a whole. The American people have spoken and they've re-elected the President to continue his administration's task of ending a foreign war, restoring our image abroad, reducing our national debt and stabilizing and regrowing our economy and putting more Americans back to work, If republicans can't see what's really important here, then they should resign NOW.

    December 28, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. callmecrazy

    Hoyer shouldn't have used that analogy. He could have made his point a million other ways. He should apologize as we go over the cliff and republicans should apologize for purposely putting party before country. They call themselves patriots, but how is it being patriotic to defy the president just because he is black. And don't tell me it's about spending, republicans would have all the cuts they wanted but couldn't say yes to the deal Obama and Boehner had two years ago. The only reason they can't take the deal now, is because it will be admitting they were wrong all this time. Pathetic.

    December 28, 2012 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "This is nothing more than stupid politicians playing their political games."

    Oh, I agree. But listening to all the FOX viewers screech their faux indignation is quite fun. Psst. FOXites. There is a reason a majority of Americans don't watch FOX News. Coming to CNN to try and convince us that your um ... opinion ... is "right" for America using FOX talking points isn't a winning Republican strategy. It never will be a winning Republican strategy. Mr. Obama cannot run for reelection again. It's been fun watching FOX (and friends) try and rip him apart, but as with everything else, this too must come to an end. This time around, Americans expect more from the Republican party ... and are fully cognizant of what goes round, must come round. Hint: obstruction.

    America's patience has been stretched to it's limit. I suggest a dose of compromise is in order ... from the right.

    December 28, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  7. Sheila

    Lynda/Minnesota – You are absolutely correct – "what goes around, comes around" It's not only their talking points, it's everyone on that network – They say that they are fair and balanced, but they really only have beckel and colmbs that are on there, so they can say that they are fair&bal. lol – from laura ingraham to o'reilly – to evrybody else that speaks, they are so right winged, and have absolutely hated our president, and everything that he says / does / or anything else that happens, they just constantly rip them apart. It's really pathetic. 2014 cannot come soon enough ! Then they will put theirselves out of reach, come 2016. They will be so far out of whack, it will be a long time before they ( the republicans) finally have some kind of "brainstorm" of figuring out that they have been out of touch with us middle class, regular people, and maybe they will come to their senses by 2020, and finally realize it's 2020, not 1950's or 60's.

    December 28, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  8. rs

    The recession, the deficit, the debt- all handiwork of the GOP. The delays, the lack of negotiation- all handiwork of the GOP. The utter lack of respect for the President of the United States, the lack of respect for the American voter- all handiwork of the GOP.
    For these fools to think that Americans think they are doing anything positive for us is pure, unadulterated delusion. The GOP has made it abundantly clear that it works only for the Koch brothers, Grover Norquist and the NRA. It is time to let them know what we think about that!

    December 28, 2012 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Anyone who thinks, wishes, or hopes, that the Tea Party House will pass a bill that contains one dime of revenue is going to be gravely disappointed. Why do you think Boehner's "Plan B" failed, despite the fact that it actually lowered the effective rate for those over a million through new deductions? That says it all, right there.

    December 28, 2012 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. GOP = Greed Over People

    "you all. No matter which party you support, Stenny Hoyer's comments are reprensible. The democratic party leadership should call him to the floor of the house to apologize to the citizens of the nation".

    Let me guess, you agreed that placing cross hairs on Congressional "targets", one of which was later attacked by a shooter, was just. Palin exercising her 2nd Amendment rights?

    December 28, 2012 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. rs

    Ray G-

    Grow up. The "job creators"? The middle class is who creates jobs through their spending. The people you apparently think are job creators are phonies like Romney who stash their money offshore- ensuring it contributes nothing to fellow citizens.

    December 28, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  12. rs

    Any politician who signed Norquist's self-serving pledge should get a one-way ticket to Gitmo. That's where we put captured terrorists!

    December 28, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  13. Larry in Houston

    Hate to be a bearer of bad tidings – but I've got a gut feeling that the word ( in late 2013 or sometime by the mid-terms in 2014 ) will NOT be "Recession" it will be most likely worse than 1929 – not with an "R" – but starts with a "D" – In a short sentence : a dollar won't buy much, if you can purchase a pack of gum, you will be lucky.

    December 28, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    Rudy NYC

    Lynda wrote on page 3:

    "...But, hey. Blaming Obama won't matter. He can never again run for President of the United States....."
    You have not been keeping up with right wing conspiracy theories. There is a rapidly growing sentiment on the extreme right that Pres. Obama will seek a third term by declaring himself dictator. Seriously. There are web sites, political action groups, and companies setting themselves up to thwart this threat to freedumb.

    Oh, Rudy .... coffee up the nose ! Not to mention my poor keyboard ! (you really ought to warn me, you know ... ; )

    This comment of yours was hilarious. Freedumb, indeed. And, yet ... not suprising. Not suprising at all.

    December 28, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. Wake up People!

    That's right Lynda and Rudy, there are many on the extreme right that think President Obama is a dictator. Just ask Ray E. (Georgia), Ancient Texan, Freedumb, Hammerer, and Rick McDaniel aka McDoomsday.

    These people couldn't be more hilarious. When I need a laugh I just read their comments or turn on Fox News. Hannity makes me damn near pee my pants laughing.

    December 28, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  16. Sheila

    @ Wake up People – hannity is just plain stupid w/ his remarks. He lives & thinks in a 1960's world.

    December 28, 2012 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  17. dorsh44

    The government LOVES the blame game. As long as the sheep are busy blaming the other guys no ones putting the blame on the government as a whole. 12 years of failed government leadership and counting...

    Democrats who think they are riding some high horse/have a mandate or w/e and that the people are going to just sweep out the repubs in 2014 need to clue in. The people have spoken(2010-12) and are likely going to say the same thing they did for the last two election cycles.

    IMHO the message was we dont want the government to leave our less able(elderly/disabled NOT! the I dont feel like its)to the wolves(Obama/senate) but at the same time we need to be realistic about where the moneys come from and end up(house/repub part). Sounds too smple but...

    Stop blaming gerrymandering for the House being repub. Romney still managed to get 48% of the vote despite the liberal media, GW the clown, severe case of foot-in-mouth disease and the embarrassing(for the entire US) election Obama ran. Its not an accident we still have a balance of power, wont be in 2014 either.

    Dems talks about obstruction but not about the actual policies blocked. Obama policies put forth were/are terrible... garbage. No ones talking about that though. The people had enough of the no accountability free for all spending in the previous 8 years sorry. Im a middle of the road kinda guy, too bad I cant find representation in this country.

    December 28, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  18. Chipster

    These foolish tea party fanatics plan to cut off their own noses to spite their faces. Are Republican leaders actually stupid enough to pledge to Norquist that they won't raise taxes and then allow the sequester deal to raise taxes on everyone? YES! The other fools are the senior citizens who voted for these fanatics who don't even understand how their government works. Seniors on Social Security have paid higher state and local taxes due to GOP's unfunded mandates such as unfunded Medicare Part D & No Child Left Behind. They have had little of no increase for the past 8 years in their cost of living benefits. Many of them are struggling and some are losing their homes. The GOP wants to dismantle Social Security and Medicare even though these programs are solvent and not adding to the debt through 2024! Yet, many seniors have voted against their own best interests. Understand it clearly: the GOP wants you to pay for more tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. That trickle down thing doesn't happen! It only trickles down to their heirs – not to the middle class and certainly not to the working class!

    December 28, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  19. Wake up People!

    @Sheila. So you have to admit he is good for a laugh or two. Especially the way he shakes that mullet when he is trying to make a point. I will admit, I can only do FOX in 5 minute increments.

    December 28, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Tommy G

    Grow up. The "job creators"? The middle class is who creates jobs through their spending.
    Problem being 25 million unemployed people don't spend too much. Thanks to Obama and the Democrats, it looks like it will continue and probably will get worse.

    December 28, 2012 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  21. batjones

    We would not be hitting the fiscal cliff if we taxed ourselves at the appropriate level to pay for the government that we want. We want Social Security. We want Medicare. We want Medicaide. We want the largest Defense. We want FEMA. We want clean air. We want clean water. We want healthy food. All of these wants cost money in years of economic growth and in years of economic recession.

    December 28, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  22. independent

    two comments:
    1) analogies to killing children is, at this time, insensitive.
    2) there are two hurdles in resolving the current fiscal cliff debacle
    – the group of five at the White House coming up with a plan upon which they can agree,
    – the Speaker convincing enough Republicans in the House to agree to pass it.

    The latter will be more difficult than the former.

    December 28, 2012 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    dorsh44 wrote on page 9:

    "...Stop blaming gerrymandering for the House being repub. Romney still managed to get 48% of the vote despite the liberal media, GW the clown, severe case of foot-in-mouth disease and the embarrassing(for the entire US) election Obama ran. Its not an accident we still have a balance of power, wont be in 2014 either..."
    Democrats won significantly more votes in the House than Republicans. Please explain how that results in Republicans maintaining a strong edge in total seats in the House. Gerrymandering is what took place.

    Romney got 47% of the vote. The Tea Party will write its' own epitath thinking that it is their manifest.

    December 28, 2012 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. CanadianJohn

    “Fiscal Cliff” put in a much better perspective.

    * U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
    * Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
    * New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
    * National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
    * Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

    Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

    * Annual family income: $21,700
    * Money the family spent: $38,200
    * New debt on the credit card: $16,500
    * Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
    * Total budget cuts so far: $38.50

    Got It ??.......OK now,

    December 28, 2012 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  25. rob

    The game the Dems are playing with the help of the liberal media is blame the Republicans for everything while privately planning for the cuts in the military, increased taxes on the rich and a smaller tax cut on the rest. The Dems know full well the only place they can get the money they need to continue their spending is higher taxes on the middle class. This may come in a reduced tax cut for the middle class after the cliff or the real revenue gusher....VAT (value added Tax) like Europe. Mark my words, the Democrats are coming after your money because the "Rich" don't have enough

    December 28, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
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